On December 4th, Maine announced its first orders of the COVID-19 vaccine. These first rounds of vaccines were limited to frontline health workers, who are most exposed and at risk. However, dates were recently released as to when vaccinations will be open for the general public. As of March 23rd, every Maine resident ages 50 or older can get vaccinated while residents 16 and older will become eligible April 19th.
There are numerous healthcare centers and pharmacies such as Walgreens or Hannaford across the state of Maine that are offering the vaccination. All locations require an appointment before, but pre-registration is available while you wait to become eligible or for an available time or location. The comprehensive list of all Maine vaccination centers can be found on the official state website. When eligible, your doctor or primary health physician may contact you about scheduling an appointment to receive your vaccine.
Although there has been priority placed on healthcare workers and school staff to get the vaccine, young Mainers with pre-existing conditions have to wait until April to officially receive the vaccine. Despite this, Bangor Daily News reported that some pharmacies are giving the vaccine to those who contact them directly but who might not be eligible yet. To make sure no doses go unused even if there are no more eligible people to receive them, state health officials approved of the administrations. If you are not currently eligible but are eager to get vaccinated, try calling your local pharmacy to see if they have a ‘waste-list’ you can be added to. These are lists that are full of people available to set up last-minute appointments to get the doses that are left over.
Vaccines work the best when everyone does their part in getting vaccinated to create a strong herd immunity that keeps everyone safe. This is why if/when you are eligible, you should absolutely make your appointment, do your part for your community, and get vaccinated! If you have any questions about the vaccine itself or its eligibility, supply, or scheduling your appointment, visit Maine’s Public COVID-19 FAQ page.